Thursday, April 15, 2010

Spotlight : Head First in Goldfrapp's new album

The last album of the English electro band, Seventh Tree, had confused their fans with low rythms, acoustic and even classical instruments. But 2 years after this folk UFO, Goldfrapp goes back to the sound which made its success, this aerial eletro-pop, already heard on previous albums Black Cherry and Supernature.
Head First is a parachute jump from a plane covered with glitter, piloted by composer Will Gregory, in the middle of a blue sky with pink clouds, rainbows, and sexy space hippies. During nine songs, you're floating with blond angel Alison Goldfrapp, the singer, in a pure disco revival.
Put your fluo jumpsuit and your blue platform shoes on, there is kitsch life after the last B-52's album !
Single Rocket and song Shiny and Warm are very classic Goldfrapp, perhaps a bit deja-vu ( isn't Rocket a faster Number 1, and Shiny and Warm very Satin Chic ? ). But, beyond those sexy and rythmic hits, you will find more '70s influenced songs which will immediately put a name on your lips : ABBA.
Indeed, Alive shares some family likeness with Super Trouper, so does Head First, and I wanna Life is bound to become a new Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! with its obsessive chorus.
We can also notice hippy influences in songs Believer, Dreaming with its ethnic-like percussions, and the troubling Hunt, which has got something of Japanese, and dives us in a mysterious and hazy Zen garden, covered of summer rain.
This new album, though, is somehow disappointing, mainly because the band has accustomed us to discover new horizons inside each of their albums : Felt Mountain was a mysterious world of jazzy '60s cabarets, Black Cherry surprised us with its sexy and provocative experiments, Supernature strengthened their maturity and leaded us to feverish night-clubs, while Seventh Tree pushed us on the road for a deep and bohemian road-trip.
Head First, after that, seems a bit dull. It could be something made by Eurythmics, The Creatures or, more recently, by Kate Havnevik; we hardly find the usual genius of Goldfrapp behind those disco songs.

But besides that, Head First is still a pretty decent album, very pleasant to hear, sweet, carefree, and which has got a nice atmosphere.
By the way, the trend seems to like retro. The music sounds '70s, the fashion looks '70's, the people are nostalgic. Do we have exhausted the humanity's creativity that we need to dig up in our parents' old boxes ? Do we need to turn back ? Goldfrapp's last album raises the question, but refuses voluntarily to answer. It's like Alison was whispering to our ears :
"Meanwhile, let's do a treatment with Head First, the head in the clouds, and forget everything else ..."

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